When did you join EOCA?
Why our company is involved with EOCA?
We are keen to support the positive influence that the outdoor industry can have on people’s perception of environmental issues. For 18 years our garments have offered a ‘no compromise’ solution to staying more comfortable outdoors, ethically produced, longer lasting and renewable. We’re continually striving to improve on this. We are working hard to bring global environmental and climate change issues to the forefront with our peers, and to effect more positive change. To any of us who walk, climb or ski in the mountains, we appreciate that it’s vital to minimise environmental impact, to preserve the wilderness that we love. Ultimately, only by working together, will we be able to limit the current climate crisis and try to avert what may otherwise become a climate disaster for our children and grandchildren.
What else do we do to support conservation?
Our Environmental Management Team works hard to ensure that we work to more sustainable practices within the company – from a bike to work scheme to maintaining recycling streams, and encouraging our suppliers and retailers to be sustainable too. We continue to reduce our carbon footprint by improving our working practices, but, like all companies, Páramo cannot totally avoid carbon emissions. As a result, we are working with the World Land Trust to offset all our primary carbon emissions – and more……
In addition to offsetting current CO2 emissions, Páramo also offset historical emissions by pairing up past years. Hence in 2010 we offset emissions for the year 2000 as well, and this year will see emissions for both 2001 and 2011 offset by our contribution. Thus by the end of 10 years we will have balanced 20 years of CO2 emissions by re-establishing and rehabilitating tropical forests, especially in Ecuador.
And we aim to conserve existing forests too. Páramo believes that the protection of standing forests is as important as restoring forests, so we have undertaken to contribute an equivalent amount to the World Land Trust to invest in conservation projects as on our offsetting projects.
Actual sales of garments contribute to projects too:
· Every Halcon,Pájaro and Alondra nature-watching jacket sold plants a sapling through Scottish conservation charity Trees for Life, who are working to re-establish the Caledonian Forest and its wildlife in the Scottish Highlands.
· Our initiative with Andy Rouse Wildlife Photography, the Aspira Fund, earns a contribution from every Andy Rouse Limited Edition garment sold which is then donated to small research and conservation projects often by-passed in favour of larger, more established projects. In the last years we have been able to help with conservation projects for Capercaillies, Tigers, Black Grouse, Little Owls, and the Glaslyn Ospreys.
· Through our catalogue (of which we circulate between 250-300,000 twice a year), we are able to promote and publicise conservation initiatives.
What else do we do to support conservation?
All our waterproof products provide a green alternative to conventional waterproofs – so much so that Páramo waterproofs were the only ones awarded Best Buy status in the review of outdoor gear by Ethical Consumer magazine in July/ August last year.
The Páramo Halcon Jacket for example is a classic high performance waterproof designed for a country lifestyle, that will last a lifetime! The unique Nikwax Analogy fabric sets the garment apart. Modelled on mammal fur, the UV resistant 100% polyester, PFC-treatment free fabric provides excellent performance not only keeping out the weather but removing perspiration far more effectively than conventional waterproofs for superior comfort. Because they don’t rely on laminates, coatings or membranes or need taped seams, there is nothing to break down or fail over time. The Halcon will not become obsolete or perform less well. Rather its waterproofing is indefinitely renewable with eco-friendly Nikwax aftercare, is repairable with a needle and thread and is not compromised by puncture. You could stick pins all over the Halcon, take them out and it would still keep you dry. Without membranes etc, there is nothing to inhibit recycling of the polyester. However, our preference is that the Halcon should not be abandoned in a recycling bin but passed on to a new appreciative owner. Many Páramo jackets have survived 15-16 years of hard use, saving energy involved in stripping and recycling the polyester and in creating a new jacket.
To encourage re-use of garments, in 2012 we introduced the Páramo Recycling Scheme. Páramo users can return any Páramo garment to us (except underwear) saving it from landfill, and they will be rewarded with a generous discount on new Páramo. We will either rehome it or recycle it.
The Halcon is manufactured ethically in Colombia by the charitable Miquelina Foundation. 90% of Miquelina’s production is for Páramo. The Foundation provides employment and training for 400+ vulnerable women each year, who want to improve their lives. Factory profits fund a housing project, virtual library, kindergarten and canteen for local children. 115 houses have been built, 460 under 5s attend the nursery and 450 children eat daily in the canteen.
After manufacture the Halcon is treated with eco-friendly Nikwax waterproofing in the Miquelina laundry. Nikwax solutions are water-based and contain no harmful solvents, propellant gases or persistent fluoro-carbons. They aren’t tested on animals or harmful to humans. Miquelina has its own Environment policy and procedures.
Each Halcon that leaves our warehouse triggers the donation of a sapling to be planted by Trees for Life, a Scottish charity dedicated to restoring the Caledonian forest, creating habitats for once-native wildlife species.